If I Were Not Born in New Jersey
I think I would be scared of America.
The wide concrete highways reaching
up and winding over my head,
the sky with its high ceiling,
plants that stand and grow alone,
telephone wires that reach,
the lights, all the same—some out
the mile markers, the billboards roofing houses
with offers of adult toys, gas
and oil bathed potatoes.
I think I would be scared of America
if I never saw the tops of trees and
highway lights that guide me home.
But I have counted each stitch
of laced leaves, felt every turn. I have
driven off the highway, and still—
I am scared of the road that could extend
until it is my veins. Until
America has become my hard black blood.
Tractor-trailers could drive down
my arms and legs as I would shudder at the thought
of only growing into a highway bush
that stands alone.